Long road ahead
05.05.2014 - 05.05.2014 14 °C
Finally in Fes!!!!!
Just finished day one and I am pretty sure everyone is ready for bed. Well at least most!!! When I did the first post, I knew we were going to have a busy day BUT I NEVER thought it was going to be THIS busy!!!!
Let me just take you back to Saturday. We arrived in Frankfurt at 11:30 AM and set about getting into town and on to our various tours.
There were 11 that went on a 2 hour walking tour which took 5 hours to complete!! The highlight was the Jewish Memorial Site. We were told that it really touched everyone. They also has a chance to try the local schnitzel and beer. The group had an opportunity to see the “Padlock” Bridge. No one was able to add a lock of their own, so I guess they are still waiting for their true loves. When we met up again there were a few cold and tired bodies.
The other group were planning on taking the Ebbelwei-ExpresB Tram where there is a tour of the main sites around Frankfurt but seen from the comfort of a tram car. Unfortunately this did not happen as most of these tours are reserved many months in advance and we were planning on just getting on. We end up taking the Hop on/Hop off bus tour around the town and going to the Cider Bar district to try the famous Frankfurt Cider. We learned that if there is a green wreath over the bar door, they have a license to press their own cider. We found an establishment with that sign and had a wonderful meal. The day turned out to be a great one.
We all met back at Hauptbanhof (the main train station) and went back to the airport, for our flight to Casablanca. The plane was very empty and many got to have a row of seats to themselves. Great food and service on all flights.
And NOW for day one. We only had a few hours’ sleep as we had to be up and out of the hotel by 8:00AM. We headed north 80KM to the Capital city of Rabat. The population of greater Rabat is roughly 2 Million people. Morocco has the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. Spain in only 14KM from Tangiers (In the far of north of the country).
Our first stop of the day was the Royal Palace. There are 5 different types of guards we saw that protect the King while in residence. We saw men dressed like Secret Service and the men dressed in the red royal guard uniforms as well as army, navy and the Gendarme. The grounds were huge and beautifully kept.
From here we went to the Mohammed V Mausoleum to see the tombs of Hassan II (the present king’s father and Mohammed V (present King’s Grandfather). We learned that the present King is very forward thinking and has helped the women’s cause by having them allowed into parliament and higher offices of power. The Hassan II Tower is on the same site. We finished in Rabat with a visit to the Kasbah (of the Udayas) the old walled village of Rabat’s Medina (old walled city). To clarify: Kasbah is the walled village and Median is walled city.
We then headed off to Meknes. Another 120KMs north of Casablanca. We visited the Bab El Mansour Gate. We had a chance to take a fast local lunch where many local favorites were tried. We met back at the gates and continued behind them into one of the 25 Mosques. We were allowed inside to view the beautiful mosaic and marble architecture. This is one of the many UNESCO sites in Morocco.
Our final portion of today’s journey was to Volubilis. Another UNESCO site. This was 30KM north of Meknes. Here we saw the Roman ruins which were unearthed in 1915 and became a World Heritage Site in 1997. These ruins would make you think you were in the Roman Ruins in Italy. Complete with Aqueducts and all the necessities of life.
By this time the temperature had risen from a very comfortable morning to a smoking hot afternoon.
We had some very good news on our final drive to Fes (another 100 KMs north). The hotel we were to stay in was overbooked and we were upgraded to an amazing 5 star hotel. Zalagh Park Palace. We already have a plan to get back from our tour tomorrow and hit the pool. By the way; the temperature tomorrow is supposed to a high of 33C!!!! Who has clothes for this heat????
This is all for tonight. More after our Souks, Tanneries and Clay workshops. Tesbaheena ala Kheer (Bon Nuit for those French speaking Moroccans)